Lessons from the Mountainside 31

We’re here. We’re at the end. Jesus has only a few more things to say to us and those who listened on the mountainside that day. Here he’s going to mention the second of the two things that make a difference for those who choose to follow him. We talked about the first, which was fruit. Now listen to him and see if you can guess the second:

Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. It collapsed with a great crash.

Matthew 7:24-27 CSB

You’ve heard, now act.

Jesus didn’t want his audience that day to be like so many of us are on a typical Sunday. No, there was no hearing a good sermon and forgetting it the moment you walked out the door on this day. Well, first of all, there was no door, but second of all, Jesus was serious when he said obedience to his word was a matter of life and death.

He knew that the moment they walked off that slope, Satan was going to do everything he could to get them to reject what they’d heard, to call that radical rabbi every name in the book, and to go back to living by the letter of the law that kills. He knows that Satan is still working like that today.

While we may face physical storms, spiritual storms pound much harder.

Jesus was telling them and tells us that it’s only in obedience to his word that we survive the battle. It’s not enough to just hear about being the salt of the earth and light of the world. We have to act like it. It’s not enough to know that looking at a woman with lust in our heart is like committing adultery, we have to avert our eyes and guard our hearts to avoid the temptation. It’s not enough to hear that we should love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us; we have to do something to show them that love and good. It’s not enough to not worry—we have to stop worrying.

Even when we do his word, the storms will come.

Satan continues to throw his spiritual sink full of tricks at us, but when we are actively living out the words of Christ, we’re able to stand stronger against them, because we’re living life like Jesus. When we live life like Jesus, we become more like him. Our roots grow deep, our weaknesses are made strong in him, and our trust more sure, because he’s proved himself true to his Word.

When we remain in Christ, keep his word fresh in our minds and hearts and act on it, we are like that house on solid ground. When we don’t, we’re not, and the crash will be great like a house built on a sandy beach.

Which house will you be in? The choice is yours.

Grace and Peace

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